Professor and Provost Emerita, California State University, Fresno, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, California State University System (ret.)
Dr. Echeverria served the twenty-three campus California State University (CSU) system as its chief academic officer until 2010 when she retired. As Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, she participated in the national movement to increase graduation rates in higher education, championed a statewide initiative to improve the experience of students transferring from community colleges to four-year universities and colleges, as well as advocating for the quality of academic programs offered to the largest cumulative student body in the nation, the CSU.
Dr. Echeverria currently offers the Leadership Course to doctoral students in two of California’s doctoral programs for educational leaders. Her goal is the transformation of education and educators, and she focuses her current efforts in California. Another of her current commitments is leading Lecole: A Learning Community for Ontological/Phenomenological Education, a group of faculty who are committed to introducing the Leadership Course and its distinctions to higher education.
In addition, Echeverria is frequently invited to offer lectures, workshops and coaching on leadership in higher education at universities and at meetings of professional organizations. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Education Delivery Institute (working with the Education Trust to improve graduation rates in the United States); Radio Bilingue Advisory Board (working in the American southwest to enhance information and news provided to Spanish speaking listeners); and the University of Nevada’s Basque Studies Advisory Board (working to expand and maintain the scholarship of an internationally acclaimed Basque Studies program).
A native Californian born to Basque immigrants, Echeverria grew up on a sheep ranch in Southern California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in History and Humanities at the University of California, Irvine, and completed her doctorate in History at the University of North Texas. An expert on Basque settlement in the American West, her publications include: Home Away from Home: A History of Basque Boarding Houses; Portraits of Basques in the New World; and Home Off the Range: Basque Hotels in America. Echeverria has also published numerous articles and chapters on Basques and is frequently invited to speak on related topics.
Professor Echeverria began her academic career in 1988 when she joined the Department of History at Fresno State. She later served as Chair of the History Department, as Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences, and as Associate Provost before being appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
As Provost at Fresno State, Dr. Echeverria played a leadership role in strategic and academic planning, expanding graduate and joint doctoral programs, supporting student success initiatives, addressing gender and equity issues and diversity hiring, planning for instructional technology, and developing systems to expand grant and contract activity.
Dr. Echeverria has spent the better part of the past four decades in education – both as a professor and in administrative positions, and has found that offering the Leadership Course has been one of the highlights of her teaching experience.